Ferraro Didn't Expect to Be Nominated

Ferraro may have hoped to be Mondale's choice -- but she was as surprised as most of us

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    Geraldine Ferraro

    In 1984, I saw Geraldine Ferraro walk to the podium at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. Cheers rocked the building. “If we can do this,” she told the enthusiastic crowd, “we can do anything.” Among many women delegates I saw tears.

    Ferraro savored the moment, as did hundreds of thousands of her supporters across the nation. She projected a fighting spirit and confidence that she could help Walter Mondale defeat Ronald Reagan.

    But she wasn’t so confident a few days before the convention.

    As politicians and journalists were speculating about whom Mondale would choose as his vice presidential candidate, Ferraro may have hoped she would be his choice -- but she was as surprised as most of us were when he actually announced that she was his selection.

    A few days before the announcement, I was returning from Washington to New York on a shuttle. Ferraro happened to be taking the same plane and she sat down next to me. We talked for a while about our families and then we discussed the coming convention.

    There had been speculation that Mondale was considering San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros for the vice presidential nomination. Others being considered, it was reported, were Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Gary Hart.

    Ferraro was barely mentioned.

    On that long ago plane ride, Ferraro asked me whether I thought she had a chance to be named Mondale ‘s choice.

    I replied: “No, I doubt it.”

    Ferraro said: “I don’t think so either.”

    A few days later, we were both proved wrong. Mondale chose Ferraro.  And it became clear that Ferraro and I didn’t know beans about the political prognosticating business.